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U.S. Central and U.S. Africa Commands’ Oversight of Counternarcotics Activities

DODIG 2018-059

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Background

The DoD conducts CN activities, such as evidence collection training and border outpost construction, to help partner nations disrupt the transport and transfer of illegal drugs.

The ODASD CN&GT is responsible for ensuring that the DoD develops and implements a focused CN program with clear priorities and measured results. The ODASD CN&GT transfers CN funds in the DoD Central Transfer Account to the Military Services for execution of the COCOM’s CN program. The USCENTCOM J3 Interagency Action Group-CN and the USAFRICOM J51 CN and Transnational Threats Programs division are responsible for overseeing CN activities in their geographic areas of responsibility.

The DoD CN and Global Threats Strategy requires COCOMs to integrate the DoD strategic goals and objectives with the COCOM’s respective strategic plans, such as the Theater Campaign Plan (TCP). A TCP provides objectives that are the foundation for the COCOM’s CN strategy. Each COCOM is then responsible for planning and executing CN activities within its area of responsibility based on the specific drug-related threats and the objectives in the TCP.

 

Findings

USCENTCOM and USAFRICOM did not provide effective oversight of CN activities in FYs 2014 through 2016. Specifically, neither USCENTCOM nor USAFRICOM maintained reliable data for the completion status and funding of training, equipping, and construction activities. In addition, USCENTCOM could have more effectively planned its CN activities by identifying the command’s TCP objective to be achieved with each CN activity conducted.

This occurred because USCENTCOM and USAFRICOM did not establish procedures for tracking the completion status and funding of each CN activity. Instead, both USCENTCOM and USAFRICOM relied on the Military Service components and partner agencies to track CN activity funding. Additionally, USCENTCOM did not have a formal process for linking individual CN activities to a TCP objective.

As a result, USCENTCOM and USAFRICOM cannot determine whether their CN programs effectively used the $496 million reported as transferred from ODASD CN&GT in FYs 2014 through 2016 to counter illicit drug trafficking. Specifically, the USCENTCOM and USAFRICOM CN programs lacked continuity in their program management resulting in incoming CN officials implementing inconsistent processes. In addition, without consistently tracking funding, USCENTCOM and USAFRICOM could be using inaccurate data when reporting funding to the ODASD CN&GT, and may not know how much funding they have available for unfunded CN activities. For example, USAFRICOM CN officials missed an opportunity to use unspent funds because they were not aware that a law enforcement agency did not spend about $805,000 of USAFRICOM CN funds obligated in FYs 2014 and 2015.

The ODASD CN&GT’s and COCOMs’ lack of effective program management that was identified in DODIG-2017-119 and again in this report raises the larger concern of the DoD’s inability to manage its CN program and maximize opportunities to assist its partner nations in t heir CN efforts. Without effective program management at the DoD’s strategic and operational levels, the DoD lacks the ability to make informed decisions and hold agency officials accountable for mismanaged funds.

 

Management Actions Taken

In April and July 2017, we advised USCENTCOM J3 Interagency Action Group-CN and USAFRICOM J51 CN and Transnational Threats Programs division officials of the deficiencies related to the oversight of CN activities. Specifically, we addressed the lack of reliable data related to the completion status and funding of CN activities in FYs 2014 through 2016, as well as the lack of established procedures for maintaining oversight of CN activities. In addition, we advised USCENTCOM J3 Interagency Action Group-CN officials regarding the lack of procedures linking CN activities to the USCENTCOM TCP objectives.

The USCENTCOM J3 Interagency Action Group‑CN Division Chief agreed with our findings and initiated corrective actions. Specifically, USCENTCOM CN officials agreed to update and consolidate their draft business rules to address the lack of documented procedures to track the funding of CN activities. The updated business rules also require a self-audit of at least two activities each fiscal year to verify that information received from the Military Services is correct.

The USAFRICOM J51 Division Chief agreed with our findings and initiated corrective actions. Specifically, the USAFRICOM J51 developed and formalized standard operating procedures for maintaining oversight of CN activities. A USAFRICOM CN official stated that in the long‑term, a newly-implemented web‑based tracking system, the Integrated USAFRICOM Theater Synchronization System, would be used to track completion status and funding data for all CN activities. The USAFRICOM J51 standard operating procedures also require an annual self‑audit to verify that USAFRICOM CN officials are adequately tracking CN activities.

 

 Recommendations

We recommend that, as part of the processes and procedures recommended in DODIG-2017-119, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats define the COCOMs’ and Military Services’ roles and responsibilities for oversight of CN activities, to include tracking the completion status and funding of individual CN activities.

We recommend the Directors, USCENTCOM J3 and USAFRICOM J5 develop and formalize procedures to track the completion status and funding of CN activities. We further recommend that the Director, USCENTCOM J3, develop and formalize procedures to link each CN activity to the TCP objectives.